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Resource Center > Article
Listen First, Sell Second
17 Sep 10 Posted by: Kevin James Culp
in Marketing & Sales
Share this Article:

Moving forward with your small business opportunity is a really exciting process. There are hundreds of things to consider and attention to detail is a must. In all the hustle and bustle, one simple ― but extremely important ― task you need to remember is to listen. You need to listen to your employees, your partners and, of course, your potential clients. One saying to always keep in mind is this: Listen first, sell second.

Everyone you encounter will think they have a great idea, but you’re most likely going to end up with 100 bad ideas for every good one. However, that one promising idea could be a game-changer, which means you have to pay attention to everything your buyers have to say.

Listening seems pretty elementary, but effective listening is more complicated than you might think. Here are some easy tips to hone your listening skills:


  • Face the speaker ― If the conversation is in-person, active listening requires you to face the speaker to really pay attention. Sit up straight and get your whole body into the process. When having a phone conversation, it’s still worth it to sit up straight to concentrate. Slouching on your couch while having a conversation encourages you to slack off.

  • Make eye contact ― Avoid making the speaker uncomfortable, but at the same time don’t shy away from making direct eye contact.  Doing so not only assures the person you’re listening to that you’re fully present; it’s also a way of forcing yourself to pay better attention.

  • Eliminate distractions ― This is especially important while you’re on the phone. Turn off the radio or TV and shoo the barking dog out of the room if you’re at your home office.

  • Ask questions ― You can’t worry about looking silly by asking questions that you fear are obvious. If you do not understand what the speaker is saying, then it is a waste of time NOT to ask him/her to elaborate. Also, asking questions shows the speaker you are invested in what that person has to say.

  • Don’t interrupt ― Wait until your clients are done voicing their opinions before breaking into the conversation. Save those questions for a pause in the discussion.

  • Take notes ― Regardless of the amount of Ginkgo Biloba you take, it’s difficult to remember specific details of every conversation. Take notes so all that listening doesn’t go to waste, but make sure your note-taking isn’t hindering the process of listening.

  • Have an open mind ― Leave your biases at the door and give everyone a chance to state their case. You can’t make a sale without a buyer, so even if you’re not 100 percent in agreement, you should still listen to what they have to say and give it proper consideration.


Follow these simple tips for effective listening, and you could end up with a lot more sales opportunities, as well as sales. In the end, your goal is to provide a service or product that your customer wants. If you don’t listen to what they’re saying, how can you ever effectively achieve your goals and succeed? You need your customers just as much as you want them to need you, so listen up!

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I had the pleasure of chatting with Shawn Pigg, CEO of Hotels Etc. for BusinessOpportunity.com's Podcast series that will be released very soon on our new Digital Platform.  Here is the transcript from that call for our regular RSS feed subscribers who get all of our posts first.

If you would...
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